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Reps to recover N6.5bn unpaid dues from Lagos trade fair

The House of Representatives adhoc committee investigating the lease of federal government owned assets has invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to help in the recovery of N6.5bn unpaid dues from the Lagos Trade Fair.

Speaking before the committee, the Director of Admin and Human Resources of Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, LITC, Mr. Francis Dajilak alleged that the concessionaire of the asset, Aulic Limited, has not remitted money to the federal government coffers since 2008.

Mr. Dajilak explained that the concession arrangement had been with challenges from the beginning due to disagreement among the parties involved in the complex, as the State Security Service (SSS) occupied the part of the land given to the concessionaire which created friction between the agency and Aulic Limited.

According to him, the challenges could have prompted the company not to remit dues to the federal government, amounting to N6.5bn, between 2008 and 2017 when the contract was terminated.

He explained that LITC petitioned the EFCC which resulted in the arrest of some officials of Aulic Limited, but that they were subsequently released without paying.

The counsel to Plaza Owners Association, Mr. Godson Okoye, , said the asset has the capacity to generate N12bn annually if managed properly.

A member of the House Committee from Kano, Sani Bala, moved a motion for the EFCC and the others to be summoned and it was adopted unanimously.

The Chairman of the Committee, Dan Asuquo, while ruling on the motion, assured that the committee would protect the interest of Nigerians who had invested money in the complex.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu, Editing by Marian Benjamin and Annabel Nwachukwu